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"Tele" Marketing
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My current comments about this article: 
 Telemarketing - Who Has The Muse

 

Tele-Market -- Sell a Market

If you were to believe the telephone companies,

telemarketing is nothing more than reaching out and touching

someone's wallet. Many software sales organizations have

fallen for this line only to be disappointed. Others, have

rejected out-of-hand the entire telemarketing concept as

impossible, due to the above failures, or at least not

probable with their products based on a bias which I call

press-the-flesh sales chauvenism. Both are missing the boat

and depriving themselves of the benefits of this marketing

concept. Your agency's mission: to enlighten them.

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First, let's not get confused about what is meant by

"telemarketing". Calling for an appointment, or for an

accounts receivable collection is not telemarketing. That's

just using the telephone! Moreover, telemarketing shouldn't

be considered the telephone companies' exclusive domain. The

ol' Greek word "tele" means "at a distance" which implies no

singular reference to voice, electronic, or whatever.

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To me, telemarketing is the commitment to close business

remotely ... or, as Aristotle would have had it "at-a-dis-

tance". This commitment is one which should be made

initially at the highest corporate level involving the

president, if it involves a test case; and the directors, if

it is the launch of a new way of doing business. Like all

others, the telemarketing commitment, once internalized,

subconsciously influences all subsequent decisions. And at

issue can be some hefty ones regarding owners', investors'

and CEOs' egos with respect to centralized vs decentralized

offices ... fear of feeling confined ... loss of public

presence ... etc.

So, where's the VP of Marketing in all of this? Well,

if there is a strong one, meaning that there is a classic

office which controls what has become segregated into various

marketing support and sales departments, make certain to

include them in your first meeting. If, however, marketing

and sales are separately headed, which is characteristic of

so many software companies ... stick with the president.

Because if you don't, a conflicting dynamic -- far beyond the

scope of this article -- can occur which could thwart an

agency's creative, telemarketing proposal, without the

president's blessing.

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With this commitment in place, success requires the

rethinking and re-evaluation of everything that your client

is doing -- from product offering through contract wording

to installation, education and maintenance. If they currently

have a field sales organization with supporting advertising

and collateral materials, this could be quite extensive.

With start up clients, its open running without the obstacles

of product and attitudinal adjustments. Either way, agencies

should play a critical role in the successful implementation

of the telemarketing process which for all of its benefits

must overcome the sensory depreciation inherent with at-a-

distance marketing. And the true test of such success is a

vigorous, thumbs-up response to the question, "If our

corporate lives depended upon it -- which they probably do --

can we sell more product remotely than in person?"

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Considering the collective heartburn of both the agency

in proposing and the company in implementing, what are some

of the benefits that make it all worthwhile? The most

frequently called to mind are ...

ECONOMIC:

*lower cost per call

*more calls per period

*reduced overhead

*etc.

However, equally -- in fact, more -- important are these

other benefits ...

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION:

*speed of reaction

*centralization of support and decision making

*concentration of knowledge.

STRATEGIC:

*private advertising and postitioning

*instantaneous reaction to competitors' thrusts

*camouflaged corporate structure

CONTROL:

*consistent home court advantage

*immediate deployment or re-deployment of resources

*re-oriented presentation and pitch

*monitored calls

*researched and analyzed central data

*increased spans of control.

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Finally, what shouldn't you do ...

1. Don't sit idly by waiting for your client to start

talking about telemarketing. You may be surprised as to who

will acquire that business. Eventually, and to varying

degrees, the benefits of this process will win over the

staunchest of field sales chauvenists. And they'll act ...

bam !!

2. Don't sit idly by if your client attempts to steal

the telemarketing initiative with existing materials which

your agency has put together for other purposes. A black-eye

could be in the making. Perform an audit with sensory

deprivation in mind, make suggestions and close new business

based on overcoming AT-A-DISTANCE obstacles.

3. Don't sit idly by -- P-E-R-I-O-D!! Cost per call is

soaring. Percentage of advertising dollars to revenue is

falling. Nine digit zips, overnight letters, electronic

mail, cable TV, microwave by-pass, teleconferencing ... and

yes even paging beepers with electronic message boards are

only the beginning of ways to reach out and touch someone's

wallet.

Sottile's Winning Action Team
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Tactical Marketing Agency

"Marketing Tactics Make Corporate Strategies Happen!"
                                                                   John Sottile